Oasis Magazine Articles

Flavia's 15 Commandments

By Riham El-Mograby



At the CSA, we always consider ourselves one family. This is not your standard staff in any organization, and the feeling comes along naturally.  We worry, care, open up about our happiness as well as our struggles, and seek support and help from the family whenever we need.

I remember the first time I met Flavia in 2012 when she was first appointed as CSA’s Executive Director. She was wearing brown and tiger print, fully tanned, and accessorized her outfit with big earrings - not the standard businesswoman look I was used to seeing. She asked questions directed to figure out who I am as a person, and I was wondered why she was focusing so much on me as a person rather than what I do for a living. I thought she was too bubbly and couldn't grasp how to handle her. It is going to be a tough relationship, I thought at the time.

Five years later, Flavia became a life mentor, a true caring friend, sister, and sometimes impersonated a surrogate mother. I saw her as a ‘democratic authoritarian’ who paid too much attention to detail - a perfectionist. She was very creative in a non-conventional way, a simple yet complex person who empowered all who work with her by trusting in them and pushing them to always present and do their best.

Some people liked to think that Flavia was a worry-free person, having it all, and just living life joyfully. That is not the case. She had her struggles and fears just like any of us. But as a strong independent woman and leader, she learned to put it all behind her back, remain positive, and always look forward ahead. She always kept a ‘glass half full’ attitude while remaining compassionate, courteous, and considerate of others feelings. Everyone is happy at the end of the day and we are friends not enemies.

Since I first met her, she managed to implant in me numerous attitudes to live by. I realize how much my life changed positively by following them and now, in her memory, I would like to share these commandments with you.

  1. Smile ALWAYS and remind yourself to do it.
  2. Make friends not enemies.
  3. Live before it’s too late and remember to laugh all the way.
  4. Stand tall, be strong.
  5. It's okay to cry or ask for help.
  6. Two or three minds think better.
  7. There is always room for one more espresso.
  8. When cooking pasta, don't put the salt in till the water boils.
  9. Haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages ... they are a good thing!
  10. Leave work at 5 sharp!
  11. Call back, care, and family first.
  12. Read Maya Angelo – she got it all figured out.
  13. Be courteous.
  14. Surround yourself with art.
  15. Always do your best and strive to do it right.

I am grieving her loss with you, brokenhearted thinking about how the world has lost a pure-hearted person full of life and humor. We will miss you, Flavia.




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